Causes of Male Infertility

When you think about it, male infertility is quite common. About one in twenty men are sub fertile and when it comes to infertile couples, the male factor is present in almost half of them. The reality is that, when it comes to IVF procedures, about one third of it is performed for male factor infertility.

Before one jumps into any conclusions, he must remember that the testis has primarily two roles. The first one is to produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, which is imperative for providing sex drive, erections and basically providing a man with a general feeling of well being. The second one is to produce millions of sperm everyday, a process which occurs inside the fine tubes that are present in each testis.

For most infertile men, it is the second process, which is the cause of infertility. Most infertile men produce low numbers of sperm which may show both poor motility and are abnormally shaped. When that is the case, only a small number of normally shaped motile sperm are likely to swim up the woman’s fallopian tube and into the egg. Even then, there is no guarantee that they will be able to fertilize the egg.

In case you are wondering as to why such a problem arises, the answer in most cases is pretty straight forward. In most cases, it is genetic. In other words, these men are born without the genetic information which would allow sperm production to occur normally. Even though research has proven that certain genes are involves, without precise knowledge of what has to be done, any treatment done, will all be in vain. Presently, IVF offers a glimmer of hope to those men, as it requires a lesser amount of normal sperm to go ahead.

When you take the case of the remaining infertile men, the likely cause of their infertility includes:

Blockage or absence of the vas deferens, vasectomy, any history of injury and other surgery or STD. Sometimes, men can make antibodies to their sperm following vasectomy or other trauma, which is also a common cause of infertility. Whilst some men have difficulties obtaining an erection, or ejaculating due to a wide range of problems such as diabetes, MS, or previous prostate surgery; in such circumstances, sperm can be often found and successfully used for IVF.

To conclude, whilst the cause of infertility in men is, at best uncertain, certain conditions can be identified and treated. This is precisely the reason why men must get tested.